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S T A T I 

E II ! 


N UMB E R 3 



An Interview with David Carter: 
Part One of Three 

Kate Sterling 

Corte Madera, California 

On May 20, 2000 David A. Carter, the originator of 
the Bug Books series of pop-up books, was interviewed at 
his rural home in Auburn, California where he lives with 
his wife Noelle and their daughters Molly and Emma. The 
interviewer was Kate Sterling, movable book dealer at 

Here is a pop, pop-up quiz. The answers are to be 
found in David's interview: 

1) What is the maiden name of David Carter's wife 

2) What is the name of David Carter's first movable book? 
Hint, it has not been published but exists in full mock-up. 

3) What book is illustrated by John Strejan? 

4) Who wrote the directions for the engineering 
demonstrations in Elements of Pop-Up"? 

5) What is the name of the series that Noelle and David 
Carter collaborated on and in what country is it very 

6) Who illustrated Skyscraper Going Upl 

7) What is Waldo Hunt's middle name? 

8) In Bugs In Space, the rocket is launched from what 

9) Who owns the domain name 

1 0) Who probably did the mechanical man on the cover of 
The Genius ofLothar Meggendorferl 

K: Can we begin with a description of your work space? 

D: Sure. Messy studio. The studio is built above our 
garage, an A frame shaped attic space. Good lighting with 
a lot of trees around. There are two dormers with tables 


underneath. The north light makes it nice. But it's messy 
and I need more storage space. 

K: What is a regular workday for you? 

D: On a regular workday during the school year I take the 
kids to school, come back, and I usually get to work 
around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. I work all day until 6:00 p.m., 
except I take a break for lunch. Usually I work on two or 
three books at the same time, so if I'm working on the 
final art for one book, then I'm thinking about the 
editorial for the next book, or I have some papers sitting 
on the side. That's about it. I work all day long. 

K: Would you tell us about your commute? 

D: (Laughs) Thirty steps. It's a nice little commute. Before 
we built the studio my commute was only upstairs. I 
worked for a long time in my own studio in my house in 
Santa Monica. It started out with a studio that was just in 
one of the other bedrooms, so there was virtually no 
commute at all. And then we had Molly and she took over 
that bedroom so I rented a different apartment in the same 
building, which was an old house. Now, here in Auburn, 
I just walk from the house to the studio. 

K: So for a long time you have worked basically at home? 

D: Yes, for a long time. I worked at Intervisual for seven 
years, which means that I would commute every day to 
work, and that was driving from Santa Monica to the 
airport area, near LAX where the Intervisual office was. 
I think I left Intervisual in about 1989. 

K: Recently you were working on The Nutcracker and 
Easter Bugs. What are you working on now? 

The Movable Book Society 

ISSN: 1097-1270 
Movable Stationery is the quarterly publication of The 
Movable Book Society. Letters and articles from 
members on relevant subjects are welcome. The annual 
membership fee for The Society is $20.00. For more 
information contact Ann Montanaro, The Movable 
Book Society, P.O. Box 1 1654, New Brunswick, New 
Jersey 08906. 

Daytime telephone: 732-445-5896 

Evening telephone: 732-247-6071 


Fax: 732-445-5888 

The deadline for the next issue is November 15. 

D: The Nutcracker is finished. I've basically finished 
Easter Bugs too - just did a final on the Easter Bugs 
book. I don't know what the next book will be. There 
are three or four ideas floating around for the next Bug 
book. We've been talking about doing nursery rhyme 
books. That's a possibility. I would also love to do a 
Happy Birthday book. And I'm playing around with 
something that I really haven't given a name to yet, but 
it's basically sort of a nonsense book like an Edward 
Lear type thing. Very playful. I may call it Jabber Bugs, 
but I don't know yet. There are also a couple of other 
ideas. I just received a type of a new sort of working ... 
not a mechanic ... it's a device that is built into the 
book and when you pull the string it makes the book 
shake. We would call that Jiggle Bugs or Wiggle Bugs. 

K: Well you've done Giggle and Jingle. 

D: I'm running out of fun words. 

K: Now this Easter Bugs book I have in my hand is a 
mock up ? 

D: I call that a rough cut. That's where I do the paper 
engineering and draw in pencil on the book. You can 
really figure the book out right there. 

K: And pasted-in words. These are your words, right? 

D Yes, they're pasted in the text. 

K: Does Noelle (David's wife) critique these for you? 

Continued on page 17 

"11 -i p 

J -1 

Li. i\-M 

Everything you Wanted to Know 

About Jan Pienkowski 's 

Haunted House 

(But were Afraid to Ask) 

An interpretation by Kees Moerbeek 
The Netherlands 

There are lots of pop- 
up books, many of them 
are lousy, some of them 
are good and only a few 
are brilliant. And at the 
lonely top is Jan 
Pienkowski' s Haunted 

Since the moment I 
first saw this book I've 
I considered Haunted 
House the best pop-up 
book ever and after all these years no other pop-up 
book has changed my opinion. Not only has this book 
the most effective mechanics, but it also has (and that's 
even more important) the most intriguing sub-story 
I've ever seen in a children's book. 

At first glance it looks like an "ordinary" visit to a 
regular haunted house, with the usual attractions: the 
ghost in the closet, the spider, the black cat, the 
skeleton in the cupboard, etc. But when we take a 
better look we also see all kinds of "un" haunted 
elements like white (!) mice, a gorilla, a birthday cake, 
and an alien monster. They all seem kind of misplaced 
in this environment. It is these unusual elements, 
however, that put us on the track that leads to the 
solution of the puzzle: what seems like a haunted house 
is in fact a story about something completely different, 
the story behind the story. Pienkowski has hidden all 
kinds of clues into the illustrations and text and it's up 
to us, the readers, to pick them up and understand what 
is really going on. Let's take a closer look. 

Spread 1. The Introduction 

We're looking at the entrance hall of the old house. 
Everything seems to be in the right place: the black 
spider, the ghost in the closet, the portrait of the 
Dracula-mother and green slime on the stairs. What 
always puzzled me was the fact that the ghost and the 
spider didn't appear when opening the book, but 
disappear. It seems that they are frightened by us, the 
visitors. When you take a good look at their facial 

expressions they really look scared, as if we caught 
them in the middle of something we shouldn't know. 
Like little children caught at the moment robbing the 
cookie jar. I think the element of "guilt" is introduced 

The next thing that intrigued me is the portrait of the 
"Dracula-mother" with the black cat. She's named 
"LaGioconda." But, who's LaGioconda? Is Piehkowski 
referring to the famous portrait of the young lady with 
the mysterious smile by Leonardo da Vinci, known as 
the Mona Lisa? Isn't the portrait of a woman of whom 
we know little more than that she was the wife of a 
Florentine merchant Franecsco del Gioconda. The 
painting itself is also known as "LaGioconda." 

But there's also the opera "LaGioconda" by another 
Italian, Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1876). It's a typical 
Italian opera love story in which a young woman named 
Gioconda fells in love with Enzo, a young rebellious sea 
captain. Enzo, however, is in love with somebody else. 
Of course he gets arrested and put in prison. In order to 
set him free Gioconda decides to offer herself to 
Barnaba, an evil and mean man with influence. Enzo 
gets permission to leave the prison and flies with his 
girlfriend to better places. La Gioconda has to marry 
evil Barnaba now to keep her promise. But she commits 
suicide instead. This makes La Gioconda the perfect 
personification of unselfish love. 

The painting in the haunted house hall connects La 
Gioconda to the black cat: they are on the same 
painting. Every time we see the cat we'll have to think 
of the unselfish love. In other words, this cat becomes 
the symbol of the unselfish love. 

At the left bottom of the spread we notice two white 
mice. One is already in, the other has just arrived. I 
always get the feeling that one is showing the other 
around. It's obviously a first visit for one of them. But 
why are these mice white and not grey or brown, which 
would be much more likely in this environment? White 
mice do not belong in a haunted house, but in a 
laboratory and are used for scientific experiments. I 
have a strong feeling that Piehkowski used these mice 
as a symbol. White is the color of virginity and 

It's not very difficult to recognize the real meaning of 
the flower-like decoration on the wallpaper. They look 
like flowers, but in fact they are (hardly) disguised 
spermatozoa! When we put the element of love, the 
virginity, the first visit, the feeling of guilt and the 
sperm - cells together we get a more than clear picture 

of the real meaning of this book. It's a story about the 
first sexual experience! 

The (invisible) narrator even says "Come in, 
Doctor." It's obvious that he's not feeling as usual. 
Maybe he's been unwell his entire life, maybe he fell ill 
recently. The feet is, he wants to change this situation 
and invited a doctor to cure him. I have a strong 
feeling that his disease is called childhood. 

Spread 2. The Farewell to Childhood 

On the second spread we take a look in the kitchen. 
Through the window we can see it's a bright day. This 
is strange, because, as we all know, it shouldn't be 
daytime in haunted houses but always dark and spooky. 
It's obviously a metaphor for the daytime in our life. A 
tiny space ship is approaching. The narrator says "I 
seem to have lost my appetite." When we take a look in 
his fridge it's obvious why. It's typical kids food that 
we find: spaghetti, eggs, and ice cream and everything 
in the shape of a face. An over-clear indication to 
childhood. When the narrator says he lost his appetite, 
he really wants to say he wants something different 
than child's food, probably something more adult. In 
the oven we find a birthday cake. It's obvious that the 
owner of the haunted house has reached a certain age. 
But what age? According to the candles on the cake it's 
six years. But we also have seven cherries on the same 
cake. Six plus seven makes thirteen. The kitchen clock 
says it's ten minutes to three. Ten plus three also make 
thirteen. We have to assume the narrator is celebrating 
his first teenage birthday and reached the age of 

Spread 3. The Carnal Desire 

A huge ape 
us. In the 
paintings of | 
the Middle 
Ages and the 
the ape was 
always used as 
a metaphor 
for the degenerated human, someone who has no 
control over his carnal desire. This spread probably 
wants to say to us "The beast is loose." The text 
emphasizes this and says "I can't seem to settle down. 
In fact I can't sit still for two minutes." We don't really 
need an explanation why. The ducks on the wall 
probably want to let us know that "hunting season has 

Spread 4. The Object of his Desire 

The alien has 
arrived. In this 
case the alien 
stands for 
"somebody from |j 
outside." A 
person who's not 
connected to the 
haunted house 
and its 
inhabitants. Everybody who's going for the first time to 
his/her new lover's parental home gets that same alien- 
feeling that Pierikowski visualizes here. The childish 
"there's-a-crocodile-under-my-bed"- crocodile sits in 
the bathtub this time and snaps to the new intruder. A 
clearly powerless effort to stay a child. The medicine 
cabinet is carefully locked so no medicine is available to 
cure this situation. The unselfish love is temporarily 
flushed through the toilet. He's obviously of no use right 
now. The one white mouse seems to say to the other 
"follow me." What's going to happen is inevitable . . . 

It wasn't. 

"Doctor. . . ? 
YOU . . .?" 
Indicates that 
the doctor has 

left the house, which cannot mean anything other than 
that the patient is cured. His disease was Childhood 
and he's cured by Physical Love. 

This really is a story we all can understand. 
Haunted House is an essential book and it should be 
available in all hotel rooms, next to Gideon's Bible. 

Notes and Comments 

Spread 5. After the Consumption 

Compared to the foregoing pages, this is a most 
peaceful spread. It's the bed scene. When we take a 
close look we see two people lying in bed: a black 
haired and a blond haired. It seems that we caught them 
right after "the consumption." They're haunted by a 
ghost, a real one this time, with a fearful expression on 
its face. Probably it's there to emphasize the feelings of 
guilt. The skeleton in the cupboard, on the other hand, 
is used as a "memento mori"; life has an ending and we 
have to enjoy while we're still here. These two opposite 
elements: the guilt and the resignation seem to keep this 
spread in perfect balance. When we pull the tab we see 
the eyes of the Unselfish Love cat flashing, like a 
photocamera. It's been noticed! 

Spread 6. The Loss of Innocense 

The attic is the closest place to heaven. The 
composition of this spread is based on the triangle, a 
symbol of perfect harmony, with at the left hand base 
one (!) white mouse, at the right hand side the black cat 
and at the top the huge black bat. There's only one 
mouse but where's the other one? On the right hand 
side we can find the answer. We see the black cat with 
a rather full stomach licking his whiskers. It's obvious 
he ate the other mouse: innocence consumed by love. 
The narrator's question "Do you think it's all 
imagination" has been answered now. 

Catechetical Scenes 

There is one bit of information that I would like to 
add to the article on Catechetical Scenes. Because the 
books are teaching materials of the Roman Catholic 
Church, they have a nihil obstat and imprimatur. The 
nihil obstat is a designation that there is nothing in the 
book that is against faith and morals. They may be 
given by any trained cleric in the church. The 
imprimatur is a permission to print or publish and is 
given by an administrative cleric of some standing. I 
assume that all the books have this, though I have only 
one copy of the series: Holy Church written in Italian. 
This is the only set of pop-up books I know of with 
these designations. 

James Sinski 
Tucson, Arizona 

Disney Books 

The article on Early Disney Pop-up and Novelty 
Books mentions that Applewood published reprints of 
the 1933 Mickey and 1933 Minnie in 1993. It should 
have included that a slipcased, numbered, limited 
Collector's Edition of the 1934 editions of the books 
and updated color editions, four volumes in all, plus a 
special Certificate of Authenticity, was marketed in 
Disney stores. Limited to 2,500 copies, the set sold for 

Bob Young 
Sacramento, California 


1 i% - AWFUL 

2 ft - POOR 

3 it - OK 

4 i% - GOOD 

5 ^ ■ SUPERS 

The Civil War. By Marc E. Frey. Ill: Mark 
Gerber. Paper Eng: Roger Culbertson. Run- 
ning Press. 0-7624-0614-3. $24.95 US. 30x26 
cm. 6 spreads. 5 multi-piece pops, 3 tab/flap mechs, 9 
flaps, 1 paper letter, one 3-D plastic map inserted in 
back cover. Art: Realistic, computer-generated. Plot: 
"A 3-D experience of the Civil War's human and 
physical realities." Subject matter is a little questionable 
(people got killed in a variety of unbelievable hideous 
ways, none of which are shown here). Pops are some- 
what basic and the topographical map is nothing to 
write home about. Definately a niche book. Paper Eng: 
Somewhat complex. 

J\^ Make a change- Opposites. Ill: Margot 
nJL& Thompson. Paper Eng: Geff Newland. The 
»^*" Millbrook Press. 0-7613-1043-6. $8.95 US. 
21x21cm. 12 pages. 9 tab mechs, 1 wheel. Art: Folk art- 
like bright paintings. Plot: Animals demonstrate simple 
opposites, in/out, up/down. Fun mechs with unique art 
make this a bit more sophisticated than the usual 
primer. Paper Eng: Somewhat complex. Also: Make a 
change - Shapes, 0-7613-1004-4. 

Max's Machines. By Willy Bullock. Scholas- 
' tic Press (UK). 0-590-54264-8. 14.99 UK. 

27x32cm. 5 spreads. 3 pops, 4 tab mechs. Art: 
Humorous airbrush. Plot: A mechanic demonstrates the 
fine art of transportation maintenance. Sounds pretty 
boring, right? Wrong! This is one of the best pop-up 
books in years. The mechanisms are unlike anything 
ever seen before (I only wish there were more!). The 
vehicles are not only 3-D but they also move using 
strati gically placed string. The last spread is a bittricky 
involving a rubber band but the effort has truly 
humbled this paper engineer. Paper Eng: Very complex. 

Das Max und Moritz Pop-up Buch. By 

Massimo Missiroli. Esslinger. 3-480-20618-2. 

21x26cm. 14 pgs. 3 pops, 13 tab mechs, 1 
wheel, 1 flap. Art: Humorous 19th century style pen/ 
watercolor. Plot: Two troublesome boys get their just 
desserts (yes, that is desserts since at the end of the 
book they're baked in a oven and turned into goose 
feed). I don't read German but you don't need to in 
order to enjoy the dark humor of this fairy tale. Full of 
fun mechanisms and love the historical look of the art. 
Paper Eng: Somewhat complex. 

Monster train. By Michael Ratnett. Ill: June 
Goulding. Paper Eng: Iain Smyth. Orchard 
Books. 0-531-30293-8. $15.95 US. 22x27cm. 
6 spreads. 4 pops, 13 tab/flap mechs, 7 flaps, 1 mirrored 
wheel. Art: Humorous pen/watercolor. A young boy 
meets some scary creatures on a spooky train ride. Silly 
fun for middle readers (although the mirror at the end 
really should be reflective). Paper Eng: Simple. 

Patch and the rabbits. By Mathew Price. Ill: 
Emma Chichester Clark. Paper Eng: Steve 
Augarde. Orchard Books. 0-531-30265-2. 
$5.95 US. 16x16cm. 10 pgs. 5 pull tabs. Art: Humorous 
colored pencil/watercolor. A young dog on his quest to 
catch rabbits. Simple and sweet for very young readers. 
Paper Eng: Very simple. Also: Patch finds a friend. 

The pop-up book of spacecraft. By Anton 
Radevsky. Konemann Publishing Co. 3-8290- 
4864-5. 22x29cm. 4 spreads. 10 multi-piece 
pops, 4 tab/flap mechs, 4 flaps, 3 removable space 
vehicles. Art: realistic paintings. Plot: A celebration of 
all that is outer space worthy. A wonderful pop-up book 
for space lovers of all ages. Well designed, illustrated 
and engineered (some of which are bold and delicate at 
the same time). Paper Eng: Very complex. 

Snappy little farmyard. By Dugald Steer. Ill: 
Derek Matthews. Paper Eng: Richard Hawke. 
The Millbrook Press. 0-7613-1278-1. $12.95 
US. 22x27cm. 10 spreads, 10 pops. Art: Bright, 
cartoony, computer-generated. Meet all the animals on 
the farm. Cute introduction to animals for very young 
readers. Paper Eng: Simple. 

Whose shoes are these? by Ruth Hooper. Ill: 
Sam Childs. Paper Eng: Olivier Charbonnel. 
Van der Meer Publishing. 1-902413-39-3. 
5.95 US. 22x28cm (shoe shaped). 5 spreads. 5 pops, 
real shoe laces run through covers. Art: Humorous 
pastel. Plot: 5 different animals try on a pair of shoes. 
Simple, fun and delightful under the guidance of the 
Red Shoe Master himself. Paper Eng: Simple. 

And coming soon: Brooklyn Pops Up! $19.95 US, 
1-891001-04-3, co-published by the MBS. Nine pop- 
ups, including a movable cover by Maurice Sendak! 

On a personal note, I'd like to thank all the MBS 
members who supported my partner Matthew and I for 
our AIDS Rides this fall. Together we have raised 
almost $10,000 all made possible by your generosity 
and kindness. At this writing I leave for Alaska tomor- 
row to begin my ride. I'll bring lots of pictures to the 
convention for show-and-tell. Thanks again! 

My Trip to Mecca 

Ellen G.K. Rubin 
Scarsdale, New York 

No less compelling than the holy city of Mecca, 
Ibarra, Ecuador is the pop-up collector's center of the 
Universe. Imagine my demeanor of reverence layered 
over the giddiness of good fortune at having to go to 
Cargraphics, S.A. in Ibarra to witness the production of 
Brooklyn Pops Up, the pop-up catalog for the 
forthcoming exhibition, "Brooklyn Pops Up! The History 
and Art of the Movable Book." (The issue of the 
disappearing exclamation point will not be addressed 
here.) As on any first time pilgrimage, one must have an 
experienced guide. Mine was none other than Robert 
Sabuda, designer of the catalog, a contributing paper 
engineer, and co-curator of the exhibition along with 
Ann Montanaro and myself. Over twelve years of 
collecting and writing about pop-ups had led to my 
having a part in making one. 

Now we were off to the 
real thing, the dreams and 
plans of two years behind 
us. The catalog would 
have eight spreads each 
depicting a Brooklyn 
landmark which satisfied 
the Library's challenge to 
make the exhibition 
relevant to Brooklyn. 
Twelve paper engineers 
and illustrators from 


around the world were enthusiastically contributing their 
expertise. Maurice Sendak, a Brooklyn native and a 
collector of pop-ups, was enlisted to do the cover art. 
Robert made the artwork movable with a peek-a-boo 
window on the reverse side, a la The Genius of 

The preliminary nesting sheets I had seen in New 
York were printed and die-cut in Cali, Colombia and 
trucked to Ibarra, 10 hours away. The 150 copies of the 
limited edition would be assembled and numbered during 
our stay. Fifty of them were to have tipped-in sheets of 
signatures by the contributing artists. Robert had sent the 
sheets around the world. We were scheduled to meet our 
hosts from Cargraphics, Alvaro Lopez and Guillermo 
Holguin, for a week's stay. 

After driving through the lush green mountainous 
corridor from Quito (elev. 9,200 ft) to Ibarra, and 
congratulating ourselves on beating the usual high- 
altitude headache, we were greeted by a "Welcome to 
Ecuador" sign over Cargraphic's front door, a harbinger 

of the friendliness we encountered throughout our stay. I 
stepped through the portal atwitter with expectation. Here 
the very air felt different; everyone inside was concerned 
with the production of pop-up books. This visit was to be 
much like my Hanukkah trip to Israel. No longer in the 
Diaspora, I would be in a place which was singly centered 
on my interests, my passion. 

Much like a sacred place, the interior of the Ibarra 
plant was awash in a great white light. The white walls of 
the factory were rimmed with windows at ceiling level on 
three sides letting in the sunlight filtered through the high 
thin air. Seated at over 1 5 long tables, in rows like pews, 
were almost 600 workers, mostly women, dressed in white 
coats. More than 200 were assigned to Brooklyn Pops Up 
alone and would produce the 16,500 book run in a week 
to ten days. Since there is no heavy machinery used in this 
facility, the quiet was broken only by the rustling of paper. 
In fact, the highest tech item I saw was an oscillating fan 
used to dry the glued stacks of completed spreads. 

After being introduced to the supervisory staff and 
digging deeply into my limited Spanish - 1 had thumbed 
through my Berlitz book on the plane - we were ushered 
into the plant. Passing the on-site medical facility, we 
entered the scrapping room where die-cut pieces are 
separated. My heart jumped as it does when one 
recognizes a celebrity on the street. Lying on an entrance 
table were die-cut parts from Brooklyn Pops Up. These 
landmarks of New York were totally out of context. Here 
in the Andes, with a mix of Spanish and indigenous 
peoples, most of whom had never ventured beyond their 
village, lay the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island, and 
Nathan's frankfurters. It was like finding a yo-yo in a 
Tibetan monastery. On shelves lay miniature boxes of 
Junior's cheesecake and glasses of foamy egg creams for 
Moerbeek's and Dijs' "Flavors ofBrooklyn." The workers, 
with total indifference, used rubber mallets to pound out 
the shapes. 

Like proud parents, Robert and I took photographs of 
our offspring (my first born!) from every vantage point. 
The workers smiled at our intensity of purpose and the 
dangerous positions we assumed as well. For them, this 
was just another book, another day's work. But I was 
smiling beatifically. I was escorted from table to table by 
Alvaro whose business card boasts, "Account Executive, 
Pop-up and Board Book Division." With more than 16 
years of experience, he has devoted his working life to 
pop-ups. My kind of guy! In fact, what kept me grinning 
were the constant reminders that every person and artifact 
in the three assembly plants I visited were all devoted to 
pop-up books. Thinking of Robert's oft quoted remark, 
"Pop-ups are the stepchildren of publishing." I recalled 
feeling like an ignored stepchild myself. I know what it's 

like to have my interest trivialized, relegated to the 
insubstantial. But here you could hear me humming the 
opening bars from "This Is My Country!" 

Trekking through the plant, I saw workers at then- 
tables with bowed heads and incessantly moving hands. 
Despite the surprising lack of conversation — handwork 
takes concentration - it was a relaxed atmosphere. At the 
end of each table was a yellow "happy face" swaying 
slightly on a metal coil. If a row was having assembly 
problems, the "happy face" was replaced with a frowning 
one to alert the line supervisor of a difficulty. There were 
few "frowns" in the plant while I was there. I was told 
Cargraphics in Cali has a "Preliminary Studies" 
department which goes over the production of each book 
before the printed die-cuts leave for Ibarra. Many 
supervisors attributed the smooth workflow to this 
innovative department. 

One wall of the plant was lined with workshops and 
offices. The first large room was divided between a long 
table ringed with chairs and smaller tables where 
individual projects - now the Brooklyn Pops Up limited 
edition - were going on. During my stay, the long table 
held new employees who were learning how to work on 
the assembly line. Sample projects were used to teach 
different assembly techniques. For example, a device 
called a rigging, a board of nails in the shape of a single 
die-cut, held each piece so that the assembler can glue 
another part in precisely the same place. In several other 
rooms doubling as offices, line supervisors sat at small 
round tables putting together individual spreads, working 
out the kinks. I marveled at them scurrying from office 
to office or office to assembly line holding different 
spreads from Brooklyn Pops Up, each spread making our 
plans a reality. I couldn't help but laugh out loud 
watching the frankfurters being assembled; first, glue the 
two parts of the hot dog, then, glue it into the bun, 
finally, add on rick-racks of mustard. These women 
could have worked at any hot dog stand on the streets of 
New York! Walking around, it was jarring to glance at 
the cadaverous face from The Human Body and the 
delicate house of cards from Alice and Wonderland used 
as work mats on the assembly tables. Most disorienting 
of all was chancing upon the balletic horseback riders 
from Meggendorfer's International Circus pirouetting 
out of a bin of recyclables. 

Entering the middle room, the largest, I was caught 
up short. From wall to wall, behind glass doors, 
Cargraphic's current archives were housed. The seeker 
had found the Holy Grail. While obviously not 
Cargraphic's full 27 year output, this certainly was a 
mother lode. Familiar spines, many with foreign titles, 

beckoned to me. More compelling were the unfamiliar 
titles, books either produced before I started collecting or 
those only published for non-American consumption or 
those which made me squeal, "I never saw this one!" I 
opened cabinet after cabinet removing and furtively 
examining each book occasionally looking over my 
shoulder. Certainly, such joy was illegal. I must be doing 
something verboten, something which has a Thou shalt 
not before it. 

It was a great learning experience to not only watch the 
catalog being assembled but to listen to Alvaro and Robert 
discuss how the assembly was going. One would think 
there would be many more problems with glue points 
considering the speed with which the workers applied it, 
the loose wad of cotton threads they used to clean their 
work, and the folding and stacking of spreads which 
ensued. The greatest revelation I had was the attention to 
detail paid by everyone up and down the chain of 
command. I seemed blind not seeing the necessity of the 
subtle changes made. Supervisors continued to point out 
phantom glue marks and hitches in movements. They all 
looked fine to me. (By now I was looked on as the village 
idiot, smiling as I was.) 

But the smiles were not mine alone. The people of 
Cargraphics, from Alvaro and Guillermo down to the box 
handlers responded to my obvious joy. I can't imagine 
they have ever had a visitor so demonstrably excited. 
Snapping pictures in their faces (after saying, "Con su 
permiso " first), they smiled back seeming to appreciate 
how much I valued what they did. And they wanted to 
thank me, a totally unnecessary gesture, to be sure. But 
thank me they did in the one currency they knew I valued 
most. Guillermo took me aside and said he would like me 
to help myself to whatever books I wanted !!!!!! I looked 
over at Robert asking with my eyes, "Does he know what 
he's getting into? Is he for real?" Robert grinned and 
barely nodded his head. He was saying, 'It's real. Go for 
it! ! !" I was being given absolution for the Sin of Gluttony. 

Guillermo escorted me to a room hidden from view and 
opened the doors. Kept dark like a shrine, he put on the 
lights. It was an entire room of pop-ups books in all 
languages, some editions and formats I had never seen 
before! I taught Guillermo the English phrase, "Like a kid 
in a candy store." He knew it was an apt expression. Nora, 
the receptionist who had seen to it we were never without 
water, was instructed to help me choose. Why prolong 
this? I sent home two cartons of books. I left large spaces 
on those shelves and had to make equal ones at home. I 
hope the people of Cargraphics remember me fondly as I 
will them. Maybe they will refer to me as "The Lady of the 
Perpetual Smile." 

In Search of Emma and 

Her Feathered Friend 
Adie C. Pena 
Makati City, the Philippines 

For a movable book enthusiast, the name 
Emma C. McKean is synonymous to 
"Magic Fairy Tales." For a children's 
book buff; it would be "Tell-A-Tales" 
and coloring books. For a paper toy 
collector, it would be dolls and dresses. 
For me, the name immediately brings to 
mind a small winged-creature (a 
duckling?) that appears on almost all of her art. (Step 
aside, Alfred Hitchcock. When it comes to cameo 
appearances, Emma's little bird has outdone you.) 

Join me on this journey as I follow the trail of 
Emma's feathered friend. 

The first known published work of Emma C. 
McKean was Color Rhyme Painting Book: 48 Pictures 
To Color (#654) for Whitman Publishing Co. (1932), 
a coloring book featuring children from 45 countries. 
Two years later, Whitman published Emma's 
"travelogue" follow-up: Children Of All Nations 
Coloring Book (#654). While both books erroneously 
had the same catalog number (i.e. #654), one was 
totally unlike the other. Aside from the different cover 
and title, the different artwork and verses on the inside 
pages, the 1 934 book had a small winged-creature that 
inhabited every illustration - watching from window 
sills, perching on tree branches or scurrying across the 
ground - unnoticed by the costumed children. And that 
was the beginning of the cute little critter's adventures 
in McKeanland. (Note: To correct the #654 error, 
Whitman re-released Children Of All Nations Coloring 
Book with a new cover, a new title: Children Of All 
Nations Paint Book, and a new catalog number: #616, 
though the contents were essentially the same.) 

As a freelancing artist, Emma could bring her 
ideas and illustrations to any publisher she chose. In 
1936, McLoughlin Bros., Inc. published Emma's third 
travelog, The Travel Twins ' Coloring Book (#2006). 
Of course, she took her feathered friend along for the 
ride - in a 32-page trip around the world. Two years 
later, McLoughlin would publish two more from 
Emma: The Big Sports Coloring Book: 48 Pastime 
Pages Of Sport To Color and The Party Of The Paper 
Dolls: Cute Dolls And Costumes To Cut-Out (#552). 

(A member of the McLoughlin pool of commissioned 
artists at that time was a Goldie Klein. Using the pen 
name Geraldine Clyne, Goldie illustrated Winnie's 
New Wardrobe (#555), a paper doll book which was 
immediately followed by The Jolly Jump-Ups And 
Their New House (1939) - the first of eleven pop-up 
books she would do for the Springfield, Massachusetts- 
based publisher.) 

Encouraged by McLoughlin Bros.' interest in 
novelty books, Emma submitted a conceptual 
manuscript called "Magic Picture Finder Book." Her 
handmade book (8" x 10%") with original pencil- 
and-watercolor illustrations has a "front cover" 
featuring Mother Goose and the Three Kittens. The 
artwork is unmistakably Emma's. Line for line and 
stroke for stroke, the kittens are definitely the siblings 
of Pussy-Willow, Fluffy and Patty Pussycat. 
(Pussy-Willow (1948) was the second of three (3) 
Tell-A-Tale Books she did for Whitman. The other two 
are (Surprise For) Snoozey (1944) and Fluffy And 
Tuffy: The Twin Ducklings (1947). And, talk about 
ducklings, yes, Emma's web-footed friend does a 
walk-on role in all three books, as well as in the 
following two items. "Fluffy" was a comic strip cat in 
the Lots Of Fun For Girls And Boys activity book 
(1951), likewise from Whitman. While 'Tatty 
Pussycat," along with her brother, Fluff, are on jigsaw 
#2 from "Jolly Picture Puzzles" (#4033), an undated 
box of three jigsaws from Milton Bradley Company.) 

'Patty Pussycat (n.d) 

On the "inside front cover" is a hand-cut hand- 
painted blue "magic picture finder" enclosed in a clear 
cellophane pocket. On the "first page" are her 
typewritten instructions: "Here is the magic picture 
finder. Carefully place it directly over the double 
drawings on each page. Be sure that it covers the 

dividing lines. Then carefully slide it to the side, one 
space, until you see an entirely different picture. Each 
page contains two clear pictures." 

On the subsequent pages are three sets of 
typescript paste-up text (verso) and full-page 
slat-separated pictures (recto): "The Five Little Pigs," 
"Sing A Song Of Sixpence/Blackbirds In A Pie," and 
"Cinderella." (Attention, Birdwatchers! Emma's 
feathered friend appears on the "Pigs" and 
"Cinderella" pages of the manuscript.) 


Cinderella with hand-cat hand-painted 
"Magic picture finder" 

McLoughlin Bros, recognized the potential of 
Emma's magic picture finder and requested her to 
expand the "Cinderella" tale, as well as, three 
additional stories. Though the publishers glossed over 
(ignored?) the "Five Little Pigs" and "Blackbirds In A 
Pie" plates, these two subjects re-surfaced years later as 
do-it-yourself (DIY) movables in the Emma C. 
McKean activity book Things To Do: Plenty Of Fun 
For Boys And Girls Of All Ages (#2801) Saalfield 
Publishing Company (1948). The Five Little Pigs was 
a film strip from the "Miniature Movies" spread; while 
"Blackbirds In A Pie" appeared essentially as it had on 
Emma's manuscript - a perfect example of artistic 
recycling. The "Five Little Pigs" film strip was again 

included in the 1951 re-issue edition (with less pages, 
etc.) of Things To Do (#1 169). 

Trivia: Mary Young, in her self-published Paper 
Dolls and Their Artists: Volume 2 (1977), wrote: "No 
information has been found for Emma McKean except 
that she lived in the New York area at one time." 
You're absolutely right, Miss Young. On the "rear 
cover" of the McKean manuscript is her signature in 
pencil with her home address: 43 Marine Avenue, 
Brooklyn, NY. Based on an old Brooklyn map 
(c.1925), #43 is supposed to be between Streets 93rd 
and 94th. (A year and a half ago, Robert Sabuda 
suggested: 'Terhaps the best way to find out what 
happened to Miss McKean is to check the Brooklyn 
census [which is easily accessible here in Manhattan] 
for the years 1940 and then 1950. The U.S. census is 
an invaluable source of information regarding 
individual people no matter where they lived.") But I 

By late 1941, Emma's "Magic Fairy Tales" were 
ready to roll off the press - but that was not to be. The 
publisher's blank binding dummy for "Cinderella" 
(with its own manufactured "magic picture finder" 
with red ribbon pulls; a few typeset paste-ups; and 
some ink inscriptions throughout to show the general 
design of the published book) is date-stamped all over 
"DEC 7 1941." That was the day the Japanese 
attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii - and the USA was 
thrust into war. 

But that didn't keep Emma away from her 
drawing board. 1942 found her busy putting the final 
touches on two projects for Whitman: (New) Color 
Rhyme Paint Book (#1136-15) and Surprise Party 
Cut-Out Dolls (#979) - both to be released in 1943. 
While World War II was raging across the Atlantic 
and in the Pacific, Emma's Brother and Sister Paper 
Doll Book (# 1 97 1 ) was issued by Saalfield Publishing 

Blackbirds in a Pie and do-it-yoarself movable (1948) 

Company. This same company published her 14 Good 
Little Dolls With Cloth Like Dresses (#2329) and 
Children of America Coloring and Paper Dolls 
(#2335) the previous year. 

After over a year of waiting, McLoughlin Bros, 
finally released her 4 magical movables at a suggested 
retail price of $1.25 each. These were Little Red 
Riding Hood (#2940), Goldilocks and the Three Bears 
(#2941), Cinderella (#2942) send Alice in Wonderland 
(#2943). Each book contained "14 heavy board pages, 
decorative end leaves, board cover with full-color litho 
label; plastic binding." (An Alice in Wonderland rover 
prototype from the McLoughlin Bros. Archives 
suggests that the books were initially meant to have 
spines. Why the publisher decided to "lop off' the 
spines for the actual run is anyone's guess.) 


Alice in Wonderland actual 
book with plastic binding (1943) 
and cover prototype (n.d.) 

Its 1943 "Children's Reading Activity and 
Novelty Books catalog (with an attached price list 
"effective March 1 , 1 943" and a patriotic "For Victory: 
Buy United States War Bonds And Stamps" seal on the 
back of the stiff blue paper wrappers) had the 
following blurb: 'Tour entirely new books embodying 
a sliding mask, which when moved from right to left, 
completely changes the picture on the page from one 
episode in the story to another. The thread of the story 
can be followed through the book merely by the change 
of scenes, though the story is also contained. There is 
nothing mechanical to get out of order and the sliding 
masks are so constructed as to last indefinitely." 

While Emma's "magic picture finder" was now 
simply called a "sliding mask," an unimaginative and 
matter-of-fact moniker, the catalog captions were pure 
hype, even by today's standards. "...Little Red Riding 
Hood is transported from her mother's kitchen, to the 

woods where she meets the wolf. Each page that 
follows is really a revelation." The blurb for 
"Goldilocks" guarantees that "the dramatic change 
from one scene to another will seem like real magic to 
the young reader." "Here we see the poor cinder girl 
suddenly change to a beautiful lady," proclaims the 
"Cinderella" caption. The "Alice" ad copy reads: "The 
best-loved scenes in this favorite book are here 
portrayed, with this newest of treatments lending them 
still further charm. The 'magical' changes are in 
perfect harmony with this 'Wonderland' story." 
Needless to say, Emma's feathered friend makes a 
cameo appearance on all the covers and title pages; 
and on each movable page except for plate # 2 of 
"Alice," and plates # 5 of both "Little Red Riding 
Hood" and "Cinderella." 

(Coincidentally, two "sliding mask" books with 
the word "Magic" in their titles were issued thereafter 
by New York-based publishers: Animated Book 
Company, Inc's Mother Goose Magic Window (1943) 
by Hank A. Hart; and Grosset and Dunlap, Inc's 77ie 
Book of Magic (1944) by William Weisner.) 

Though Miss McKean's 4-volume MFT set was 
her first and last venture into movable books, her 
inclination towards movable paper toys is evident in 
some of the paper dolls she designed and illustrated in 
the 1940s and 50s. Among these are: Ballerina Dolls: 
12 Wardrobe Changes For 2 Big Dolls That Really 
Dance! boxed set (#D1 15) from Saml. Gabriel Sons 
and Co. ( 1 956) which features two (2) 1 1 'A" tip-toeing 
paper dolls with movable arms and legs; Twinkley 
Eyes: The Baby Doll Who Looks Around With Pretty 
Dresses (#4792) from Milton Bradley Company (n.d.), 
a 17" paper doll with movable eyes; and four (4) boxed 
sets of "Animated Dolls," likewise from Milton 
Bradley (n.d.). 

The McKean "animated" sets are quite interesting 
since these are somewhat similar to the Father Tuck 
"panoramas with movable pictures" from the Victorian 
Era, While the Tuck movables were folded 
concertina-like, McKean's are separate card-board 
scenes wherein one, as per the instructions, would 
insert the cut-outs, i.e., "slide (the doll) into a 

The first in the series, The Animated Cinderella 
Doll: 7 Beautiful Scenes (#4030), contains the 
following blurb: "A NEW and DIFFERENT doll idea 
originated by EMMA C. McKEAN. See Cinderella sit 


down, stand 
or run in 
the numbered 
The other 
three (3) boxed 
sets are: The 
With The Three 
Bears: 7 
Beautiful Scenes 
Animated Alice 
In Wonderland 
Dolls: 7 Wonder 
Scenes (#4109); 
and 6 Animated 
Nursery Rhyme 
Dolls (#4110). 
The last features 

The Animated Goldilocks 
with the Three Bears. Scene 7 (n.d.) 

Little Bo-Peep, Little Jack Horner, Mary Had A Little 
Lamb, Mary Mary Quite Contrary, Little Boy Blue and 
Little Miss Muffet. It goes without saying that Emma's 
feathered friend appears on the box covers and on all 
of the twenty-seven (27) scenes! 

In the 1950s, Emma C. McKean apparently 
concentrated on paper dolls as evidenced by the 
number of paper doll books and boxes she churned out 
during that period. (Ask any diehard PD collector and 
she'll enumerate all of the McKean titles from 
memory!) Her non-doll projects obviously had taken a 
backseat. The credit on The Golden Fun Book: 88 Full 
Pages Of Things To Do (1953) from Simon and 
Schuster, Inc. reads: "by Bonnie and Bill Rutherford 
with Emma McKean." (The illustrations on this 
activity book are definitely not by Emma. So what does 
"with Emma McKean" mean? Was she simply a 
"consultant" on this project?) Her essential 
(indispensable?) middle initial, i.e. C, was missing - 
and so was her feathered friend. 

I thought that was the last of Emma until I, early 
this year, came across a coloring book: The Saints: 
Pictures and Rhymes by Emma C. McKean ( 1 986) 
from Catholic Book Publishing Co., NY. As I scanned 
the pages, a sadness came over me. Her feathered 
friend no longer inhabited her art. But this recent 
discovery raised some possibilities. Will I finally meet 

the woman behind the magical bird? If not, at least, a 
friend or family member who could tell me a thing or 
two about her? I dashed off a letter to the Totowa, 
NJ-based publisher and, after a month, received this 
very short reply: "We regret to inform you that Ms. 
McKean died several years ago." I sent another letter, 
probing further, hoping someone in the organization 
knew her. A Mrs. Margaret A. Buono wrote back: "We 
are sorry to inform you that we have no further 
information available on Ms. Emma C. McKean. 
Hopefully you will be able to obtain the information 
you need elsewhere." 

No, I haven't given up yet. I think I'll follow 
Robert Sabuda's advice and do a little more digging 
after the Movable Book Society conference this 
September. The "elsewhere" that 
Mrs. Buono was referring 
to may just be 
the Census Office. 

Blue-eyed and 

paper doll 

\ m i 





For now, one can't help but speculate on Emma 
C. McKean the person. Does her work with the 
Catholic Book Publishing Co. suggest her religiousity? 
Was she as blue-eyed and golden-haired as the doll she 
named after herself in Picture Cut-Out Dolls: 
Summer-Winter-Spring-Autumn (1946) from 
Whitman? What was this winged mascot that kept 
appearing in her work all about? A childhood pet? So 
many questions; and no answers . . . yet One thing is 
sure though, her 54 years worth of work has provided, 
and is still providing, countless hours of fun and 
entertainment for children and collectors alike. And 
that would definitely do for the meanwhile. 


The Complete Pop-ups of 
Rein Jansma Reprinted 

Theo Geilen 
The Netherlands 

Just in time for Christmas 1999, the reprint of the one 
and only pop-up book ever made by Mr. Rein Jansma the 
remarkable text-less book Stairs was produced by Joost 
Elffers Books, New York. The book, published first in 
1 982, is often found described in different ways and so 
puzzles the collector and the book-historian. The new 
availability of this curious item inspired us to contact Mr. 
Jansma to talk about the story behind the book and its 
different ways of appearance that cause the biblio- 
graphical confusion. The gentle paper engineer of just 
one pop-up book cordially welcomed us in his office in 
an historical part of the city of Amsterdam and together 
we tried to reconstruct its rather complicated editorial 

Mr. Jansma, born 1959 in Amsterdam, had just 
started his architectural studies at Delft Technical 
University in the early 1980's when he fell ill and had to 
stay in his bed for a long time. Playing around with a 
small Stanley knife that a friend had given to him, 
cutting in some cardboard paper, he accidentally 
discovered how a couple of cuts and some folding - "but 
a fold is nothing" - resulted in a simple staircase. 
Intrigued by the mathematical challenge he saw to be the 
base of his experiments, he went on to explore the 
possibilities of using just straight cuts and some folding 
could bring: how many and what variety of stairs could 
be made out of a simple piece of paper without adding or 
removing anything. Fascinated by how from just a few 
cuts on a blank piece of paper grew "something from 
nothing," he tried to raise the complexity of the 
composition by trying to combine several stairs to pop up 
from one page. When he finally succeeded in including 
even the suggestion of perspective, by cutting diagonally, 
his fascination diminished and the experiments stopped. 

Jansma then, as now, lived in a large historical 
apartment house on one of the beautiful Amsterdam 
canals. And in this same house lived the elder friend of 
the family, Joost Elffers, who in those days had started 
his own publishing house. As Mr. Elffers saw the results 
of Rein's paper-engineering experiments he suggested a 
book be made out of them. Both friends were intrigued by 
the "minimal art" that was the vogue in these days in the 
Amsterdam artistic circles they belonged to and thought 
the book would be a nice Dutch contribution to this 
international trend. 

So the book was published in 1982 with ten stairs 
done in blanks, without any text at all, in a natural linen 

cover with the title Stairs, the author's name Rein Jansma 
and thepublisher, Production Joost Elffers, blind-stamped 
crosswise on the front cover (no ink had to be used!) and 
the whole was housed in a simple cardboard slip case 
without any overprint. 

Since the newly-established publisher couldn't afford 
the high costs of production, the book mostly was 
produced by using family and friends to fold the cuts and 
glue the pages. The spreads were not made of one 
continuous piece of paper as often is thought! The first 
edition was issued in a "printing" of 1 100 copies: rather 
a lot for a book that looked like an artists' book, without 
a well-known publisher's name and without a good way of 
distribution. By personal car the copies were distributed to 
some four or five trendy bookshops in Amsterdam and 
The Hague and they were not too happy with a book 
having no easily readable title on the front, no text, no 
ISBN, and no text on the slipcase or a title on the spine 
that could be read when the book was shelved. This 
appearance of the book in the blank cardboard slipcase has 
to be seen as the real, though not stated first edition. 

The special character of the book also caused problems 
when the publisher tried to get the book reviewed: the 
book reviewers of the newspapers didn't think it a real 
book since there wasn't any text, and the architecture 
reviewers had never heard of the young author as an 
architect - what Jansma wasn't yet in those days since he 
had stopped his studies. As a consequence the book was 
not reviewed at all. 

Trappen Keinjuasma 

Circles Philip Gfcs 

IV K.iartrnmakeis Jaap Gisidsmil. 

lieu uitinn 

jtx*t Ellfeis 

But a good fortune proved helpful. Mr. Rob Malasch, 
a friend of Joost Elffers, was at that time producing the 
Philip Glass opera The Photographer which in 1982 
would be the opening act of the prestigious yearly Holland 
Festival of Arts. But he didn't yet have a stage-designer 
for the production. Mr. Elffers thought that not a problem 
"since he had seen such design already" and he showed 
Malasch the Stairs of Rein Jansma. Both Mr. Malasch and 
Philip Glass agreed and so the young man was charged to 


build the pop-up stairs as the scenery for the opera: three 
huge white stairs first laying flat on the stage and in the 
performance of the opera popping up (with the help of a 
simple winch) to four and a half metres of height. 

What was more, 250 copies of the first edition of the 
book - still in production - would serve as a special gift 
for the guests of honor attending the opening of the 
Festival, amongst them Queen Beatrix, in whose royal 
palace in the center of Amsterdam the opera was being 
performed. Mr. Glass agreed these copies would be 
accompanied by a seven inch record with parts of the 
(minimal) music from "77je Photographer" and he lent 
his own tapes for this purpose. The record got its own 
minimal (blank) protective sleeve. The record label 
however reads: "CIRCLES. Song from THE 
PHOTOGRAPHER. Music Philip Glass. Theater-piece 
Keyboard, Philip Glass, voice Dora Orenstein, 
piano/keyboards Michael Riesman. Made in Holland. 
Produced by the Elffers/Malasch Foundation New York. 
VR 10708 stemra 3:43. By permission of Donvagen. © 
Donvagen 1982." 

The opera was, as said, performed in the "Burgerzaal" 
of the Royal Palace, built in the seventeenth century as 
the Town Hall of the City of Amsterdam. Since this 
"Citizen's Hall" used to have a wonderful floor laid in 
with some great charts of the world as known in the 
seventeenth century and symbolizing the cosmopolitan 
character of Amsterdam's trade-power in those days, to 
the Stairs pack was added a booklet written by Jaap 
Goudsmit with information about these and other 17th 
century maps and cartographers. 

The pack was completed with a prospectus, a sheet 
printed only on one side in Dutch that reads in its 

A publication by Joost Elffers. TRAPPEN. Rein 
Jansma. The publication of the book Stairs comes 
together with the performance of the musical theater 
piece "The Photographer" by Rob Malasch. The music 
being composed by Philip Glass, the scenery originates 
from the same form studies that underly this book. From 
the 250 signed copies of the book 224 are numbered and 
26 have a letter of the alphabet. Enclosed are the record 
'Circles ' by Philip Glass and the story of 'The traveler 
and the cartographer ' by Jaap Goudsmit. 

Assignment: Just open the book to 90 degrees (half- 
open), otherwise some of the staircases can grow 
disconnected. When this nevertheless happens, don't 
panic, just fold them carefully back in shape, close the 
book and press it. May 1982. P.O. Box 16475. 

These 250 copies of the book have a special white 
paper sticker glued crosswise on the card stock slipcase 
with the text: 

"Trappen - Rein Jansma 

Circles - Philip Glass 

De Kaartenmakers - Jaap Goudsmit 
Een uitgave van Joost Elffers" 

and are the only ones showing the Dutch title of the book. 
This complete pack of the signed and numbered/lettered 
book, the record, the booklet and the prospectus is now 
often referred to as the "limited edition." 

Since collector was asked sometimes asked Mr. 
Jansma for signed and numbered copies, for which they 
appeared willing to pay a lot more (the young paper 
engineer hadn't heard yet of this strange phenomenon in 
those days but enjoyed the extra money) he has also sold, 
at random, copies with a number and his signature. In a 
small booklet, still in his possession, he noted which 
numbers he gave away, to prevent double numbering since 
he used to number whatever number the collectors wanted 
to have inscribed in their copy. For this reason there can 
be found some ten or fifteen rather illogically numbered 
copies of the book! 

It was only when the distribution firm of Idea Books, 
specializing in art books, museum catalogs, etc. and again 
originating from the circle of Jansma's friends, started to 
export copies of Stairs for distribution in the United 
States, that sales boomed. As a result, more copies than 
the 1,100 copies of the first edition were wanted, so the 
publisher did several new printings in the 1980s - in total 
until an amount of some 15,000! 

Where a second number of copies got a simple 
standing sticker on the front of the slip case with Stairs, 
"Rein Jansma" and "Elffers" (this one to be seen the 
second edition though not stated as such), a further 
printing got not only an inked author's name, title and 
publisher on the spine of the slip case, but also on the 
frontcover of the slipcase the text STAIRS. Rein Jansma. 
Elffers" and on its backcover: "© 1982 Rein Jansma, 
Amsterdam. ARTobjects, 5 West 37th Street New York 
NY 10018. Ordernr. 6000. Handmade in Holland." Such 
copies have to be considered the third 

In bookseller's catalogs we have also found copies 
described as "Made in Singapore" and/or 'Tourth edition" 
but Mr. Jansma couldn't remember such copies to be in 
existence. He himself at least doesn't have any such copy 
in his possession and, unfortunately, Joost Elffers, asked 
for help in clearing up this and some other problems about 


the printing history of Stairs didn't react at all. . . Jansma 
does know there were copies printed in Singapore, but he 
thinks this was never mentioned on any copy. In all some 
5000 copies were handmade in Holland, the others were 
produced in the far east. 

At the same time, some other young entrepreneurs 
amongst the friends started the publishing house of 
posters and postcards known worldwide, "Art 
Unlimited." They got a license to produce several of the 
staircases as postcards, too: the young Rein knew how to 
market his experiments! So in 1982 Art Unlimited 
reproduced a series of five spreads of the book in a 
smaller format (175x115 mm) as postcards, brought in 
an accompanying envelope: the postcard numbered 
"Stairs 1 " is a modified version of the third spread of the 
book; postcard no. 2 is identical with the ninth spread; 
postcard no. 3 identical with spread seven; postcard no. 
4 identical with spread four and postcard no. 5 is a 
leftover of the sick-bed that was not included in the book. 
All postcards have the note that they are a "Reduced copy 
of a limited edition of 100 originals, 38 x 57 cm 
numbered and signed." Asked for this large sized limited 
edition Mr. Jansma is ashamed to confess they never 
have been made! He remembers having cut them but only 
one single sheet. With a bright smile and a good feeling 
for marketing, he suggests we write: "They still have to 
come!" The postcards appear to have sold out, but Mr. 
Hannema of Art Unlimited said that a reprint is being 
considered and will be distributed in the U.S. by 
Fotofolio, 561 Broadway, 10012 New York. 

His illness and as a consequence his business with the 
Stairs caused Jansma to stop his architectural studies. 
The success of the stairs popping up as the scenery of 
Philip Glass's opera, however, brought him another 
request for a stage design: the Swiss stage-director Jean 
Philip Gerlais asked him to a design a set for the 
classical Aischylos tragedy of "Oresteia," to be performed 
in Paris. Again Jansma did a design of blank stairs and 
platforms laying at first flat on the stage but popping up 
and folding out by an ingenious hydraulic system for the 
various episodes of the play. 

Meanwhile he tried to settle himself as a painter, 
earning some money with stage designs and having the 
making extras from the sales of his book and the 
postcards. Not too successful as a painter, missing the 
contacts with people while locked in his studio, and 
feeling the loss of the third dimension, he took his 
chance in 1988 when asked to freelance for a friend, 
architect Moshe" Zwarts, 20 years his senior. Only two 
years later they founded their own company, Zwarts & 
Jansma Architects, where Jansma has since worked as a 


self-made architect, now employing over thirty people. 
The company specializes in infrastructural projects 
(bridges, viaducts, fly-overs, subway stations) and sporting 
facilities (stadiums, swimming arenas, sporting halls); but 
they also built the national Dutch pavilion at the Sevilla 
World Fair that struck by its cooling system of free falling 
water curtains, and the extension of the Rembrandt House 
Museum in the old city of Amsterdam, the house in which 
Rembrandt lived and worked in the 17th century. 

A survey of his works as an architect can be seen on 
the website of the company:, but 
they don't show any traces of a special stairs fetishism. 

Last year when Mr. Elffers suggested a reprint of the 
book (the fifth edition!?), Jansma realized this would be a 

good opportunity to give 
the book to friends and 
customers of his 
company to celebrate the 
tenth anniversary of the 
architectural office. He, 
therefore, reserved a 
substantial number of 
the copies of the 1999 
reprint that was printed 
in an edition of 10,000 

This reprint differs in 
several aspects from the 
earlier editions though the contents are identical. The 
book is now housed in a very professionally produced 
cardboard slip case (showing nothing of the original 
"minimalism"), covered with a smooth and very whitened 
paper, printed with the author's name, the title, the 
publisher's logo and the publisher's name. The back of the 
case is pictured with one of the stairs and has the usual 
blurb about the author, the logo, name and address of the 
distributor (Stewart, Tabori & Chang of New York), the 
year of publication and the ISBN and barcode. The cover- 
design for this edition was done by Erik The and the 
whole was printed in Hong Kong. 

The cover is still in natural linen, though a much 
darker - brownish - one than the early editions, but the 
front cover doesn't have the blind-stamps; only the spine 
now shows the (ink-printed) name of the author, the title 
and the logo plus the name of the publisher. Where the 
original spine measured 30 mm, the reprint is blown up to 
a robust width of 37 mm. 

As said the contents still show the original ten stairs - 
and platformscenes - though now done in, again, a very 


(too!) smooth paper, printed over in a trial to give it the 
yellowish tint of the originally used paper (for the 
connoisseur: "Schipbeek 200"). There is one big 
difference though! People who possess the early edition 
will have the experience that all the staircases fold easily 
down when the book is opened only to 90 degrees. But 
the stairs that stand cross on the pages (like the one on 
the first spread) tend to round up in the false direction 
once the pages have been opened over 90 degrees. The 
prospectus given with the "limited edition" already 
warned of this problem. For this 1999 reprint the 
problem has been solved by gluing extra paper on the 
backside of every second step. Mr. Jansma ironically said 
it was done so "he wanted to prevent any of those stupid 
claims as asked nowadays in the U.S. by discontented 
consumers from the ones responsible of the harm ..." The 
effect of this paper-addition appears to be technically 
satisfying, but seen sideways it looks as if the steps are 
strengthened by a disproportional metal beam! In the 
reprint these stairs have lost a lot of their original 
elegance. Otherwise we think we have now found a good 
reason for the mostly strange efforts of collectors to 
purchase a first edition of a (pop-up) book: here there is 
a difference that changes the look of the pop-ups in a 
substantial way - and not to its benefit. 

We were curious to hear if we are the only one to have 
a copy of this reprint that has one of the spreads (the 
sixth one) glued in topsy turvy - resulting in an 
unexpected Escher-like effect. But as said, Mr. Elffers 
didn't give any reaction and though his website promises 
to give pictures of this item, the needed link appears to be 
locked so we couldn't get in. By the way, the easy mis- 
folding of the cross stairs was also the reason they were 
not chosen in 1 982 for their reproduction as postcards 
and caused the mentioned modification of the spread 
used for postcard number one. 

Having reconstructed the printing history of Stairs so 
far satisfyingly, we recently were surprised and puzzled 
by a copy popping up at an auction here. We discovered 
a copy in a Moscow red linen cover without the blind- 
stamps on the front cover but with the Dutch title 
'TRAPPEN' printed in gold on the spine, defying the 
minimal art that underlies the original. Confronted with 
this copy Mr. Jansma was astonished too, saying he had 
never seen such a copy. The only explanation for the 
copy he could think of, was that one of the people who 
helped him to produce the handmade copies had used a 
completed block of the book for a private binding. We are 
curious now to be informed if any of our readers does 
have another copy that differs of the ones described in 
this article. 

Asked for the reason for the composition of the book 
and the internal coherence of the sequels of the stairs, Mr. 
Jansma said the stairs were mostly grouped in their 
chronological order of coming into existence. It all started 
with the first simple staircase that stands cross on the 
raised half of the cut paper. Only later he discovered the 
possibility of stairs that stand parallel to the raised paper 
and then did several of the two before returning - with 
spread five - to the first one to complicate the design. 
Spread seven, called by him 'the theatre', shows another 
possibility of making stairs by cutting and folding; and 
this design was mirrored in its negative on spread number 
nine. Realizing himself that all the staircases bring you 
up, without the possibility to get down again, caused the 
design of spread number eight. With the mentioned 
diagonal cuts as used in staircase number ten, bringing a 
perspective view in the design, his experiments ended - 
and so does the book. 

Except for the described pop-up stage designs, Mr. 
Jansma only did one other project using kind of pop-ups. 
When asked for a promotional design by an Italian photo 
studio, he did some advertisements that had the backsides 
of the blank forward folding parts heavily colored. When 
the cards opened, a slight reflection of the colors at the 
back grew visible on the blank paper of the front side and 
suggested a tricky illumination as done in a photo studio. 

Such was all that came to the public of his paper 
artworks. As an architect he still often does some designs 
or details of a design in paper, to get a better view of the 
optical effects of what he has in mind. As proof he 
showed us the paper version of an intricate pillar that will 
be part of a radar-station he is designing at the moment. 
Since the paper model showed that the pillar - done in an 
intriguing combination of hexagonals - when built would 
be seen as a straight pillar, he had also glued together a 
second copy with all the compartments turned a mere six 
degrees and so giving exactly the spatial effects he wanted 
to have it. 

Of course we finally asked Mr. Jansma if he does have 
himself a special interest in pop-up books or if he even 
collects them. The answer was negative but he proved to 
have vivid memories of some pop-up books he had in his 
childhood. From the detailed descriptions of the books he 
remembered, it was clear they were several early books by 
Vojtech Kubasta, from the Tip + Top - and the fairy book 
series. He told us how intrigued he was as a child by 
discovering how such simple means resulted in such 
wonderful three-dimensional scenes. 


We think he is not the only one intrigued by the 
Czech wizard who knew how to puzzle children with his 
pop-up books and wonderful three-dimensional scenes, 
brought to life just by cutting and contra-folding without 
hardly any addition of paper -just as Rein Jansma did in 
his Stairs. 

Rein Jansma, Stairs. New York, Joost Elffers Books, 1999. 
ISBN 1-55670-963-3. $24.95. Distributed by Stewart, 
Tabori & Chang, New York. 

Book-Related News 

The Movable Book Society 

New York City 

September 21 -23, 2000 

Speakers, Demonstrations, Book Sales 

"Brooklyn Pops Up!" 

Exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library 

September 21 - December 31, 2000 

Program available at: 

Book Artist 

Book Artist Carol Barton has been awarded the 
Bogliosco Fellowship for the Fall of 2000. She will be 
artist-in-residence at the Bogliosco Center, located just 
south of Gen ova, Italy, from September 12 through 
October 27, where she will be designing a new book of 
architectural drawings and pop-up paper towers 
illuminated with a miniature incandescent bulb embedded 
in the spine. The resulting edition will be printed in the 
spring of 2001 at the University of the Art's Borowsky 
Center, with the help of a faculty Venture Fund grant. 

Book Event 

Northwest Bookfest - A Celebration of the Written 
Word will be held on October 21 and 22, 2000 at the 
Stadium Exhibition Center in Seattle, Washington. More 
than 220 booksellers, publishers, and find presses will 
exhibit. The event will also include book arts exhibitions 
and demonstrations as well as hands-on paper crafts 
workshops. For more information see: 

Questions and Answers 

Meggendorfer Correction 

Hildegard Krahe 
As a so-called German Meggendorfer expert, I 
suppose it would be helpful for collectors if I correct 
information that appeared in "Pop-up Design" by Ulf 
Stahmer {Movable Stationery Volume 8, No. 2, May 
2000). Two of the annotations are misleading. 

Correction to annotation 1: Meggendorfer 
mechanized a lot of stand-up books, but not Buffalo Bill's 
Wild West. The name of the artist is absolutely unknown; 
not even the Schreiber archive can give any information. 

Correction to annotation 4: The Theater -Bilderbuch 
is also not by Meggendorfer. I have the original edition 
from 1878 in my collection. At that time Lothar 
Meggendorfer had made his first picture book for the 
Stuttgart publisher Nitzschke and after that his first 
movable book for Braun & Schneider in Munich. The 
connection to J.F. Schreiber began in the year 1 886. 

Q. We are preparing an article on, and an as 

complete a bibliography as possible of the editions of The 
Speaking Picture Book published in the 1880'sand 1890's. 
For this we hope to get in contact with collectors or 
librarians of collections who possess a copy of this book, 
to control the bibliographical dates of the different 
versions of this book. 

The book was subsequently published by "TB," Theodor 
Brand, H. Grevel & Co, F.A.O. Schwarz, Nister and 
without a publisher; and came also as The Speaking 
Toybook, Das Sprechende Bilderbuch, Le Livre d'Images 
Parlantes, and in a Spanish version from which we don't 
know yet the title. 

If you have a copy of one of the versions, or have any 
other interesting information about the book, please 
contact me. 

Theo Gielen, 
Strosteeg 35, 
3511 VR Utrecht, 
The Netherlands. 


Carter interview, continued from page 2 

D: Sure. Noelle, Molly and Emma. All three of them. 

K: They have their input? They let you know when you 
are right on? 

D: They do! Absolutely! They will catch things and point 
out things I didn't see. That reminds me that I need to 
change something in The Nutcracker. Molly read the 
entire book and got to one point where there is a booklet 
that attaches right here - the "Story of the Hard Nut," 
which is a separate story within the story of the 
Nutcracker. And at the end of the Hard Nut story, I write 
"The End." Molly said, well that is too confusing because 
I think the whole story is over at that point. So take out 
"The End." Little things like that, and I'll do it. I'll take 
that out of the book. 

K: So they're really developing very critical opinions, 
very acute. 

D: That's right. If I'm doing a cover, I go through many 
designs before I actually show it to the editors. I'll take 
the covers into the house, put them on the wall and ask 
"What do you think?" And they will all say something. 
They are junior art directors. Sometimes my editor asks 
me, "Well, what do they think?" It's like having your 
homemade focus group. 

K: At what stage of 
production is Easter Bugs in 

D: They're now getting 
ready to do the first proofs. 
Which means we haven't 
seen anything printed yet. 

K: So it is at Simon and Schuster and Intervisual? 

D: It's at both. They both have a copy. Intervisual is in 
the process of preparing it to send off to the printer and 
then they will do a first proofing of it. Then they make 
samples. At the end of summer they will start going into 
the manufacturing process where they will print the book 
and start manufacturing the book for Spring of 2001, for 

K: Chuck Murphy at the last Movable Book Society 
Convention spoke about the time pressure during the 
creative phase. As the author, illustrator and paper 
engineer, do you have more control over your schedule? 

D: Yes, definitely. That is what I enjoy so much about 

what I do. For the most part, when I am doing a book I'll 
have the idea and I'll do some preliminary work. Then I'll 
present it to the publisher and they will either accept it or 
not accept it. If they do accept it, they'll say, "When can 
you have it?" And I'll 
tell them "I think I can 
finish this before Fall 
2001." They'll say OK 
and that's it. Then I 
work on my own 
schedule and get it done. 
For instance, when I was 
doing Love Bugs, I had 
it planned for one season 
and I didn't like the way 

it was going. So I stopped it and said let's put this book 
aside and I'll continue to think about it. And I did Alpha 
Bugs instead. Once I had worked through Alpha Bugs and 
let Love Bugs sit for all those months, I was able to come 
back to Love Bugs and I then I was fresh with it. So I have 
that flexibility and that freedom to work on what I like to 
work on, what is working for me, and then hand that off 
to the publisher. They asked me to do Easter Bugs and I 
looked at it for a while and said "Yes I have an idea for ft, 
I can make it happen." I finished that book well ahead of 
schedule. But then there is a book like The Nutcracker, 
which is also a book that my editor Robin Corey asked me 
to do. Actually, she asked me to do a book for the Classic 
Collectible Series and I said "Yes." I thought about it and 
thought Nutcracker would be good. It's something I grew 
up with in Salt Lake City where we had the Ballet West. 
That's what made Christmas for us. Once you saw The 
Nutcracker, you were in the Christmas spirit. After I 
decided to do The Nutcracker, it took several months for 
Noelle and me to actually read it and decide what we were 
going to do and how we were going to treat it. This book 
has to be a Fall book. It's a Christmas book. It got to be 
later and later and I was still trying to resolve what was 
going to happen in the book. I hadn't started cutting 
anything yet and, once I started cutting, that process, the 
actual paper engineering process, took me a long time. My 
final art date was November 15 and I hadn't even started 
the art yet. So that particular book got later and later and 
really put a lot of pressure on me because I was late on the 
project, which doesn't happen very often. I am almost 
always either on schedule or even ahead of schedule, 
mostly because I set my own schedule. 

K: It's a very complex project. 

D: And on The Nutcracker I was doing a different art 
style. I was using a computer software I had never used 
before. I jumped into this thing and had a huge learning 
curve on it. So I was under a lot of pressure and the 
schedule was difficult to meet, especially because it was 


happening over the holidays. But for the most part, 
ninety percent of the time over the years, my schedule is 
very relaxed. Which is the way I like it. 

K: So you get to work with the product until you feel 
really good about it. 

D: That's right, and to me that's the most creative way 
for me to work. I look at it and some days I will work and 
get a lot done and sometimes I will sit for three or four 
days and not accomplish anything. But really, during 
those three or four days I am accomplishing something. 
I'm getting to the point where I finally have it the way 
that I want it. You think you are not being productive, 
but then on the third or fourth day it all falls into place. 
Or I will go out and dig in my garden or in the winter go 
skiing. It just kind of clears your brain. 

K: For the collector, you said it is part of the Classic 
Collectible Series? 

D: Yes. 

K: Is it going to be produced in a slipcased, limited 

D: Yes. There will be a slipcased, signed edition. There 
will be 150 of those and I will get a series of 26. They do 
a series especially for the artist that is lettered A through 
Z and I keep those for myself. 176 copies will be 
slipcased and have a special pop-up on the front cover - 
something that nobody else gets. The special edition will 
be here around Fall. 

K: In 1997, you dedicated 
Bugs in Space to Miss 
Howard, your fourth grade 
teacher, "Wherever she may 

D: I have no idea where she 
is. I was hoping she would 

see it and call me. My fourth grade teacher was a great 
teacher, one of those teachers who make a huge 
impression on you and really change the way you do 
things. Of course I had a crush on her too. That was part 
of it. A schoolboy crush on Miss Howard. And then she 
got married during the year and she invited the whole 
class to her wedding. We all got to go. But she was the 
teacher that got me going in art. I've always been an 
artist from the time I was very young, but didn't know it. 
I just loved to draw and color, but it was Miss Howard 
who turned off all the lights in the classroom and put a 
coffee can and an orange on the table. She took one light 
source, turned it on and said this is how you draw this 

form. You draw the can and you draw the cast shadow - 

and I saw it all click. I could do it and I loved it. If you 

look at How Many Bugs in 

a Box?, the art layout is 

basically what I saw in that 

fourth grade class. If you 

were to look at this box in 

the book, here is the 

shadow, and a strong light 

source shining on it. That 

was the first time I really 

saw something like that. 

Miss Howard was a great influence. The school was in 

Bountiful, Utah. I actually called the Davis County School 

District and asked them if they had any record of her and 

they said no. That was 25 years ago. Her married name 

was Frew, but I'm not sure of the spelling. I think she was 

quite young, probably straight out of school at the time, 

and she may have left teaching when she got married. I 

think she taught for two or three years and that was it. She 

was there at the right time for me. 

K: You said you did draw as a kid. You did paint. Did you 
have any interest in bugs? 

D: Oh absolutely! I loved bugs! I have all sorts of stories. 
Part of it came from when my Dad was in the Marines 
during the Korean War and spent time in Japan. I 
remember him telling me a story about how the Japanese 
kept praying mantis as pets. I don't know if it was true or 
not, but he said that and it fascinated me. So I used to 
catch them and grasshoppers to keep them as pets. I loved 
them. To this day I love a praying mantis. It's my favorite 
insect. I like to hold them and watch them turn their 
heads. It's just fascinating to me. But yes, I love bugs. I 
spent a lot of time digging for bugs and looking for bugs. 
When I was about ten I would get up in the morning in 
Bountiful where we had big open fields. We had the 
foothills above us. We would just take off and be gone all 
day long and bring a little sack lunch. I just spent the 
whole day just looking around the fields, lifting up boards 
and rocks looking for bugs. It just hit me - lifting up 
things looking for bugs. That's exactly what the bug books 
are! I wasn't conscious of that when I made the bug books, 
but that's what I've done. And to this day, I love lifting up 
a rock. 

K: Did you collect them or observe them? 

D: Just looked at them. One of the reasons I think I started 
the Bugs was I would buy all the Audubon books. We also 
love birds and fish. Both Noelle and I love to spot them 
and look at them. I had the insect books and thought this 
would be fun to draw because they have certain body 
structures - I could start making up what is happening to 


these bugs. You know, the head and wings and legs and 
antennas, all the interesting body parts. It's just like Mr. 
Potato Head and Cootie. You can do anything with them. 
Everything moves. I can make anything into a bug 
simply by adding the eyes, adding the antenna, adding 
wings, whatever. I can take any object almost and make 
it into a bug, which gives me so much flexibility in 
working with the manuscript. 

K: I have a fantasy that you did bug doodles on the 
margins of your school papers. 

D: I doodle on everything. 1 don't know if I ever drew 
bugs. Not these bugs. These bugs I created when I started 
the bug series. I don't know what I drew when I was a 
kid. My mom didn't keep very many school papers. She 
did keep my dinosaur drawings and the drawings of my 
family that I did. But I do recall drawing on everything. 
In feet, I remember getting notes from the teacher asking 
me not to draw on my math papers. 

K: In 1998 you dedicated Bed Bugs to Roger Cushing, 
your high school art teacher "for helping you find the 
straight and narrow path." Could you tell us a little bit 
more about that process? 

D: Roger Cushing was my high school art teacher. In my 
first week of high school, I was in a bad car accident. I 
wasn't in critical condition, but I had a broken femur. 
Back in those days they would treat a broken femur by 
putting you in traction and I was in traction in the 
hospital for seven weeks. It was tough, especially because 
I was an avid skier. I missed that ski season and that 
drove me nuts. Then I was in a body cast, so I missed 
that entire year. I was in bed for five months. In junior 
high school I had stopped being an artist. It wasn't cool. 
I was into wood shop. I was still building things. I love 
to build things, and that was my career path at that time. 
I was going to be a cabinetmaker. When I was in the 
accident I spent so much time lying in bed that at one 
point someone gave me a drawing pad and I started 
drawing. That got me into doing some watercolors and I 
did a lot of hand lettering, just to give me something to 
do while I was lying on my back. The home teacher saw 
it and said, "Hey let's show your artwork to the art 
teacher. They can get you an art grade for junior high 
school." And he did. The art teacher, Mr. Cushing, said 
that when I came back to school I should come in and see 
him. So I did and he sat me down and said look what is 
available to artists. He started showing me CA Magazine 
and he showed me the big world of art. That did it for me 
and I said this is what I'm doing from now on. So I spent 
my senior year in his art class and learned a lot. I also 
became aware of the fact that if you do well in high 
school you can get a scholarship to college. My parents 

wouldn't have been able to send me college, so I did that. 
I worked hard. I ended up getting a scholarship to Utah 
State University, which was a real good art college. In 
fact, my next book will be dedicated to Glen Edwards, the 
college professor at Utah State in Logan. Roger Cushing 
did a lot. The reason why I say "straight and narrow path" 
is I was kind of wild in high school. If it hadn't been for 
him, I probably would have gone off and been a regular 
working stiff somewhere and done a lot of things I 
probably shouldn't have done. He got me focused early, 
saying that it was time for a career. In fact, between junior 
and senior year in high school, he got me into a summer 
art program at Utah State. So I went to Utah State 
University and spent six weeks up there, living in the 
dorms. My best friends now, art directors I know in Los 
Angeles and all over the country, are kids that I met in 
that program. Jim Deesing was there. It was a great 
program. So he really got me focused on doing a career 
very early. 

K: How did your interest in three-dimensional art 

D: I had never seen a pop-up book until I went to work for 
Intervisual Communications and I didn't even realize they 

K: In the advertising agencies - did you see anything. . . . 

What's in 
the Cave? 

D: Nothing. Nothing like 
it at all. Now that I think 
back about it, when I was a 
child I loved to build 
things. I would go down to 
my Dad's workshop and be 
pounding and constantly 
building stuff. Like I said, 
in high school I was going 
to be a cabinetmaker so I 
built things all the time. 

Three-dimensional, yes. I loved some of the things that 
were being done at Intervisual. I remember one of the first 
jobs I did as a freelancer for Intervisual was doing a paste 
up for a Jan Piehkowski book. I had never seen his 
artwork. I had never seen anything like it. So Jan 
Piehkowski's Robot did it for me, as far as the artwork is 
concerned. If you can do artwork like this, this is the field 
I want to be in. I saw the working dummy of the Robot 
book and it just knocked me out. Right there I decided that 
I was staying with the company. This is it. At that point I 
had been in Los Angeles for a few years trying to be an 
illustrator and I wasn't getting any work at all as an 
illustrator. So I was falling back on my knowledge of 
general graphic design and I decided at that point, at 
Intervisual, that I didn't even care if I ever illustrated 


anything else again in my life. I wanted to work on those 
books. I was very happy just to do the paste-ups, just to 
put the type in place. 

K: Going back before that, how did you end up at 

D: There was an ad in the Los Angeles Times for 
freelance paste up artists. At that time, I had a job 
working for Peterson Publishing, but the job didn't pay 
enough money to pay my monthly expenses. I made less 
money than I spent for my rent. I was scrambling 
constantly. I was constantly doing freelance work on top 
of my regular job just to stay afloat. So I was always 
looking for freelance prospects and I spotted this ad. 
What appealed to me was that it was close to where I 
lived. I lived in the Hermosa Beach area, which was 
south of Los Angeles. For my other job, I was traveling 
up to Hollywood everyday, which was miles away, and 
this was down by the airport. 

K: Because you physically lived close to Intervisual, you 
ended up there? 

D: That's right. That was also the period, working in Los 
Angeles, where there were some days I worked literally 
24 hours. I would go from my job at Peterson Publishing, 
which was an eight hour a day job, and I would drive 
back down to Intervisual and work from 7 p.m. to 
midnight. Then I had another freelance job that I would 
do sometimes that was for Beverly Hills People 
Magazine - all it was a newspaper where they would cut 
and paste pictures of Beverly Hills people at parties. So 
I would sometimes do the paste-ups on that from 
midnight to 5 a.m. and then I would go to work at 
Peterson Publishing the next day. That was how I was 
working and I would take every freelance job I could get. 
I started doing the freelance Intervisual work and Jim 
Diaz saw that I was a hard worker so he convinced Wally 
Hunt to hire me. When they offered me my first job at 
Intervisual, it paid more than all the other jobs combined 
So 1 took it and I loved it. It was a matter of being lucky, 
but I was basically taking any job I could at that time. 

D: I am wrong. No, that 
was the first book I did 
outside of Intervisual. 
The first books that I 
illustrated were What's in 
the Cave? and What's at 
the Beach? in 1985. 

What's at 
the Beach? 



K: You illustrated those '"' " u[ "' ; k 

books? You were not only 

the paper engineer, you 

were both engineer and illustrator? 

D: I did the whole thing. The reason why I had to think 
twice about it is because Linda Zuckerman was on staff at 
this point and she was the one who came to me and said, 
"Hey how would you feel about doing the whole thing? I 
understand you do illustrations too." And I said "YES." 

K: Those are wonderful books and they definitely look 
like David Carter books. 

D: I look back at these and say what an idiot, I would now 
have done that differently, but I'm real happy with them. 
These were fun and they were all very simple. 

K: There are about five to six books in that series: Deep 
Blue Sea, Prehistoric Forest, What's in the Cave?, What's 
at the Beach?, and Jungle. And, of course, also at about 
this time you did one of my favorites, If Pigs Could Fly. 

D: And that was with Peter ^^•■^mgs- 


Seymour. The sequence is 

that I did these books and 

then a year later I did How 

Many Bugs in a Box? and ''^f-^^f^fri?- 

then after that / did If Pigs 

Could Fly. Pete Seymour 

wrote that based on a poem. 

K: So that collaboration with Peter Seymour came about 
because he was at Intervisual and you were at Intervisual 
and they said would you like to do a book? 


& m- - 'mL- 

K: What was your first published book as an illustrator? 

D: My first published book as an illustrator is called How 
to be an Ocean Scientist in Your Own Home by Seymour 
Simon, but I illustrated it for Linda Zuckerman. Linda 
was an editor who was hired from New York and brought 
into Intervisual. She worked there for a while and then, 
on the side, hired me to do this job for HarperCollins. 

D: Part of what we would do in those days was to sit down 
and create products. We would have a creative meeting. I 
would give my ideas — and they discouraged it actually. 
The powers that be at Intervisual discouraged people from 
the Art Department from creating their own ideas, but we 
did it anyway. How Many Bugs in a Box? came about that 
way. One of the top people at Intervisual took How Many 
Bugs in a Box? to the Bologna Book Show, saying we 
don't understand this, no one is going to buy it. He came 
back from the Bologna show and said no one is interested. 
But luckily, Irv Goodman, who was a New York 


publisher, came to work as President of the company. He 
also took a copy of it and came back and said "Let's go. 
Simon and Schuster just bought 100,000 copies of it and 
this one has legs." That's how close it was to being 

K: It must have been awfully discouraging sometimes to 
get that kind of information and then to have it turn 
around so totally. 

D: It was, but it wasn't, because that was what we were 
used to. There was actually a point at Intervisual when 
one of the two owners wrote a letter to the Art 
Department staff that said, "Please, your job is not to 
think of ideas. Please don't submit ideas to us." And then 
it had a place where you had to sign it. I tore it up. Forget 
that! And luckily Jim Diaz also tore his up. If we don't 
think of ideas, these people will have no books. Actually, 
they did rely a lot on outside people, though. That's when 
van der Meer was bringing book ideas in. There were a 
lot of interesting things going on. 

K: I think you said who was one of the two owners of 
Intervisual. Who was the other one? 

D: Of course Wally Hunt has always been one of the 
owners and Arnold Shapiro was the other owner at that 
time. Wally and Arnold were the two head people. 

K: As an illustrator, your first book was What's in the 
Cave? or What's on the Beach?, one of those. What is 
your first book as a paper engineer? Same books? 

D: Well no, because my first book to receive a paper 
engineering credit, I think, was Goodnight Moon Room. 
And I'm not even certain if that was the first one. 

K: And you did that with John Strejan. 

D: Yes. That was the first book where I mostly did the 
whole book. Because what was really happening in those 
days was Jim Diaz would get a project in and he would 
give one spread to Tor (Lokvig) and one spread to John 
(Strejan) and one spread to Keith (Moseley). Then he 
would take Keith's spread and give it to John. He was 
constantly mixing it up so all paper engineers were 
collaborating on the books. 

The Little Simon Pop-up Contest 

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing has 
announced the debut of The Little Simon Pop-up Contest. 
Little Simon seeks proposals from artists with writing, 
illustration, and paper engineering skills to add to its 
distinguished list of novelty books, which already includes 
such pop-up masters as Robert Sabuda, David Carter, 
Kees Moerbeek, and Chuck Murphy. The Little Simon 
Pop-up Contest will be awarded in February 2001 to an 
individual from the United States or Canada (excluding 
Quebec). Entrants must not have been previously 
published or have won any paper engineering or design 
awards. The winner will receive a book contract with an 
advance against royalties. 

"It's always exciting to work with and publish new 
talent, especially so in the pop-up book field," said Robin 
Corey, VP, Publisher of Novelty and Media Tie-ins, 
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing. "This contest 
confirms our strong commitment to the genre both for our 
reining pop-up author/illustrators and for the stars of 

Entries must included a complete, type-written, double- 
spaced manuscript of no more than 500 words in English; 
one full-color, fully illustrated pop-up spread with 
working mechanics; and an outline of complete paper 
engineering ideas and illustration suggestions for a 
children's pop-up book appropriate for ages 4 to 10. The 
contest began August 1 , 2000. Entries must be postmarked 
by December 15 th and received by December 31, 2000. 

To learn more about The Little Simon Pop-up Contest, 
please visit the Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing 
website at: or write to: 
Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Little Simon 
Editorial Department/Little Simon Pop-up Prize, 1230 
Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020. 

Simon & Schuster Press Release 
August 8, 2000 

Part 2 of this interview will 
appear in the November issue. 


New Publications 

The following titles have been identified from pre- 
publication publicity, publisher's catalogs, or 
advertising. All titles include pop-ups unless otherwise 

Alles Gebacken! Pop-up-Buch. Geschichten vom 
Kleinen Raben. Paper engineered by Massimo 
Missiroli. Esslinger. DM 19,80. EUR 10,12. 

The Amazing Magic Fact 
Machine. [Spin the Magic 
Finger to Find the Right 
Answer.] By Jay Young. 
Sterling Publications. 
September. 30 pages. 1 1 x 
11. $19.95. 

The Amazing Pop-up 
Geography Book. By Kate Petty. Dutton. September. 14 
pages. $22.99. 0-5254-6438-7. 

Brooklyn Pops Up. Little Simon. September. 8 pages. 
$19.95. 0-6898-4019-5. 

A Busy Day for Santa. By Keith Moseley. Abbeville 
Press. September. 8 x 10 x 11" $10.95. 1-902413-490. 

The California Pop-up Boot By the Los Angeles 
County Museum of Art. Universe. November. 7 
spreads. 12 x 12 x 3" $45.00. 0-7893-0500-3. 

Don 7 Wake the Baby! By 
Jonathan Allen. 
Candlewick. August. 18 
pages. 9 Vi x 10 ! / 2 . 
$19.99. 0-7636-0891-2. 

Fashion-a la Mode: The 
Pop-up History of 
Costumes and Dresses. 
Universe. November. 7 
spreads. 8 xll'/z. $35.00. 

If I were a Halloween Monster; A Mirror-mask Book 
with Pop-up Surprises! Little Brown. September. 16 
pages. 9 x 11. $13.95. 0-316-57778-2. 

Little Red Car Gets Into Trouble. By Mathew Price. 

Illustrations by Steve Augarde. [tab-operated 

mechanicals] Abbeville Kids. September. 10 pages. 6 x 

6" $6.95. 0-7892-0676-5. Also: 

Little Red Car has an Accident. 0-7892-0673-0. 

Little Red Car in the Snow. 0-7892-0674-9. 

Little Red Car Plays Taxi. 0-7892-0675-7. 

My First Day at School. Golden Books. 9'/ 2 x 914. 10 
pages. $9.99. 0-33500-33103-9. 

My First Plane Ride. Golden Books. 9'/ 2 x 9'/ 2 . 10 
pages. $9.99. 0-33500-3304-3. 

The Nutcracker. David Carter. Classic Collectible Pop- 
up Series. Little Simon. October. $19.95. 

The ParaScience Pack. 



By Uri Geller and 


^ Pack 

Ron Van der Meer. 


Abbeville Press. 

t ^ '*.- 


: 4- 




A Treasury of Cats: 

Smitten with Kittens, Cats: A Feline Potpourri, The 

Purr-Feet Little Book of Cats, Cat Crazy: A Pop-up 

Book. Andrews McMeel. October. $19.95. 


Vrindavan Activity Set: Fold-out Temple and Altar. 
Mandala Publishing Group. 14 x 1 VA. $19.95. 
1-886069-23-9. [Mandala Publishing Group. 2240-B 
4 th St., San Rafael, CA 94901 .] 

What are You? A Surprise Pop-up Book. Golden Books. 
9!4 x 9'/ 2 . 10 pages. $9.99. 0-307-14590-5. 

Whose Shoes are These? 
By Olivier Charbonnel. 
Abbeville Press. iV* x 11. 
$6.95. 1-902413-39-3. 

k-. are incse? 

Who Lives in the Jungle? 
(Wiggly Tabs) Readers 
Digest. 12 pages. 6'/ 2 x 7'/ 2 . 
1-5758-4353-6. $5.99 

The Wizard of Oz. Robert 
Sabuda. Simon & Schuster. 

October. $19.95. (Limited Edition: $100.00. 




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